This feels eerily similar. Deja vu, maybe.
AT&T CENTER -- Whether looking at a series as a whole, or individual games, the objective in the playoffs remains the same. Make a run, build a lead, and then protect that lead with everything you have.
Through three quarters the San Antonio Spurs appeared to pick up where they left off in Game 1, combining a dominant defensive performance with a precision offense directed by the brilliant play of point guard Tony Parker. For a brief moment in the third quarter, Parker was at the height of his powers, getting into the middle of the Grizzlies defense and reading their schemes and rotations at an elite level.
When Parker wasn’t finding Tiago Splitter at the rim for a layup or dunk, he was kicking out passes to Danny Green or Kawhi Leonard for open three-pointers. Parker scored four points and eight of his career-high 18 assists in a third quarter that saw the Spurs build an 18-point lead.no comments
The matchup of the game for Game 2 in the Western Conference Finals will be between Tim Duncan and Zach Randolph.
Duncan had a 6 point, 10 rebound game in Game 1, which wasn't the prettiest offensive numbers for the Spurs' cornerstone. He did make up for it on the defensive end, holding Randolph to 2 points (1-8 shooting). Duncan's commitment to stopping Randolph paid off for the Spurs because of the Grizzlies couldn't get into an offensive rhythm. Memphis had to rely on different offensive pieces for the top options, something they weren't used to with Z-Bo on the floor for them. With Duncan towards the end of his career, his offensive numbers weren't that important as he's willing and able to be the fifth option if necessary without the Spurs losing any rhythm.
What Duncan must do on offense:no comments
Between Games 1 and 2 I had a chance to catch up with Joshua Red Coleman from the fantastic Memphis Grizzlies Blog, 3 Shades of Blue for a little back and forth talk reflecting on Game 1 and expectations moving forward.
Project Spurs: So, Game 1 seemed to be full of outliers both in terms of the San Antonio Spurs accuracy from deep and the Grizzlies allowing so many open looks from the corners. Both teams seemed quick to write the blowout off as an outlier, but was there anything you saw from Game 1 that might apply for the rest of the series?
3SOB: I think the biggest thing you can take away from Game 1 as a potential foreshadowing is that, when the Spurs are allowed to run their sets, they are a dominant offensive team. Also, over helping on defense in the paint is a very bad idea against them, as they have the shooters to make an opponent pay for that.no comments
The San Antonio Spurs landed the first punch in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals versus the Memphis Grizzlies winning 105-83 in San Antonio. They way the Spurs won was a bit of a surprised considering Memphis s one of the better defensive teams and looked very formidable heading into Game 1 versus the Spurs. Also, no one expected Zach Randolph to have a dismal performance in Game 1.
The Spurs and Grizzlies tipoff later today and the Spurs are expecting a different Memphis team than the one they played Sunday afternoon.
Check out what Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, coach Gregg Popovich and Danny Green had to say about Game 1 including their thoughts on Game 2 and how Parker is expecting a "war" tonight.
Parker on the Spurs' offense and is ready for "war" tonight against the Grizzlies:
Being an NBA player in the era of super teams has to be tough. From player movement through draft day trades, offseason free agency and the midseason trade deadline, it would not be to my surprise if most players rented homes until they complete a full year with a new team.
One minute you are an exciting new player sure to dazzle crowds and the next you can be shipped off to the next NBA city as an underperforming throw-in as part of a trade or salary dump. While player movement has long been part of the NBA, I can’t remember so many key players moving from team-to-team in their careers and collecting a new jersey as their “thanks for playing” prize.no comments
AT&T Center - The San Antonio Spurs throttled the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, 105-83. From precise offensive execution, a franchise playoff record 14 threes made to holding Zach Randolph nearly scoreless for the game, the Spurs put on a clinic to go up 1-0 in the series.
However, Memphis has been in this spot before in the postseason. They were down 0-1 against the Clippers and Thunder only to rally and win both series.
After the game, I caught up with Memphis' Austin Daye, who finished Game 1 with 4 points, and 1 rebound, spoke about the loss to the Spurs, adjustments heading into Game 2 tonight, confidence, and more including his thought's on Tony Parker's MVP-caliber regular season.
Hard to imagine it has been 16 years since the San Antonio Spurs won the 1997 NBA Draft Lottery and drafted Tim Duncan out of Wake Forest. Duncan not only changed the future of the Spurs, it also changed the path for the Boston Celtics who had the best odds to get the No. 1 pick in 1997. The Spurs drafted Duncan and the Celtics drafted Chancey Billups and Ron Mercer.
For the Spurs, Duncan has led the franchise to four NBA titles while Boston went on to win one in this decade of the NBA with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.
But what if fortunes were flipped? What if Boston won the 1997 NBA Draft and selected Duncan? OrlandoMagic.com showed exactly how TD would look in a Boston uniform had he signed with the guys in green. Needless to say, Duncan in a Boston uniform doesn't look that bad but a black and silver jersey is more his speed.
Check out Celtic Duncan and my advanced apologies to Celtics fans who might still be smarting over not winning the 1997 Draft.no comments
The San Antonio Spurs (9-2) will look to go up 2-0 on the Memphis Grizzlies (8-4) tonight in San Antonio as the Western Conference Finals continues.
The Spurs are coming off a convincing win in Game 1 over the Grizzlies 105-83. The Spurs connected on a franchise playoff-high 14 three pointers while Tony Parker led the San Antonio with 20 points, 9 assists and 2 steals. Kawhi Leonard poured in 18 points, and Danny Green added 16 points. Quincy Pondexter paced Memphis with 17 points off the bench. Zach Randolph was held to just two points on 1‐of‐8 shooting in 28 minutes.
Despite losing Game 1 versus the Spurs, San Antonio should not take their early series-lead. Against the Clippers and Thunder, Memphis fell 0-1 to start both series yet rallied to win both series.
And as the Spurs look to win Game 2, here are five things to watch for during tonight's game:
• The Spurs are 5-1 against the Grizzlies in postseason games played in San Antonio.
• Memphis is the only NBA team with three players ranked in the top 20 in scoring during the playoffs (Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley).no comments
According to KSAT.com, San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker received death threats during Game 1 against the Mempis Grizzlies. Reportedly, the death threats came in with five minutes left in the game an security was ramped up during the game.